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spotlight  IN THE SPOTLIGHT:

President's Report: The First 100 Days
Citius, Altius, Fortius

David O Taylor, MD
ISHLT President

It is appropriate that I sit down to write this report during the running of the XXXth Modern Olympic Games in London. It is also ironic that on the opening weekend of these Olympics, the Program Committee for the 33rd Annual Scientific Sessions of the ISHLT—the Educational Olympics for end stage heart and lung failure—met in Chicago.

What have I discovered during my first 100 days as President? The single most important thing I've learned is that other than the Executive Director, only the President gets a complete view of the entire Society's activities and I AM AMAZED. I have previously served on the Board and was the Program Chair for the Vancouver meeting in 2001 and yet I had NO IDEA of the massive amount of work that the individual ISHLT members and ISHLT administrative staff provide on behalf of the Society.

The motto, 'Citius, Altius, Fortius' has been attributed to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, and was based on his belief that that athletes need to be given the 'freedom of excess' in order to be able to excel and break records. I would argue that this motto and philosophy equally applies to our Society and its members.

In keeping with the Olympic theme, in the first 100 days I have found the Society to be Faster than we have ever been. We are providing education to our members and non-members at a greater and more rapid rate than ever before. The time from submission to publication of an article in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation (JHLT) is faster than ever. Due to changes in the annual Program Committee policies and procedures, the time from submission of abstract to decision (and subsequent presentation) is faster than ever. Utilizing the Links, the Journal, our website, Google groups, and the Annual Meeting, the dissemination of new information is faster than ever. As we incorporate other forms of social media over the ensuing years, this transfer of information will be even faster.

The status of our Society is Higher than ever. The impact factor for the JHLT this year reached an all-time high and, under Dr. Mandeep Mehra's stewardship, I'm anticipating a continued climb. Our membership is at an all-time high and given the breadth of our Society's interests, I'm anticipating a continued climb. Our annual meetings continue to attract higher numbers of attendees and the number of abstract submitted for the Prague meeting was the highest ever, having double from 2001 and quadrupled from 1991. Under Dr. Glanville's and Dr. Christie's leadership of the Program Committees for 2013 and 2014, I'm anticipating a continued climb.

Finally, I find the Society Stronger than ever. Our numbers are larger, our finances stable (even in the current global financial turmoil), and our foundation solid. The Society stands on a foundation anchored by the JHLT, the Annual Scientific Sessions, the incredible Administrative Team and you, the individual members both directly and through the various Councils and Committees. With this foundation, we will not fall. However, as we have learned throughout history, even the strongest man-made structures can be felled by forces of nature or man, thus we must continue to shore up our Society and prepare for the future. In that regard, we are embarking on another strategic planning process over the next 9 months to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses and create processes to leverage the former and attenuate the latter.

In closing, I would like to thank you, the members, for the profound privilege of serving as your President this year and am looking forward to a productive year for the Society.

Let the Games Begin
  Let's Break Some Records